On the 27th of June, Declan Loy set out to complete thirty-two 111km triathlons in thirty-two days.
From the glens of Antrim to the ring of Kerry, Declan planned to complete a 1km swim, a 100km cycle and a 10k run every single day in every county in Ireland.
Two weeks ago, Declan ran, cycled and swam his way through Galway.
And yesterday,the Newry man completed his 32nd triathlon on the 32nd day in Dundalk along with 150 people who were there to support him.
Declan’s challenge raised funds for the not-for-profit organisation Super You, which focuses on supporting, empowering and inspiring young people through engaging workshops and schemes.
The 46-year-old, who lives in Castlebellingham with his three children and wife, developed the name ‘Irondad’ after breaking a Guinness World Record in 2018 after completing 32 Ironmans in 12 months.
Having developed a hunger for another challenge he decided upon the 32 Challenge and called it the Irondad Challenge.
He began his journey in Newry Co. Down and made his way through each county in Ireland, completing an impressive 3,555Km in total.
But Declan doesn’t class himself as an athlete.
For him, he’s just a normal Dad with an interest in exercising and a drive to raise funds for an organisation that can really support young people in Ireland.
When asked about his challenge, Declan said: “I have been blown away with the triathlon clubs throughout Ireland that have willing come forward and helped me arrange the 111km triathlon in the different counties and those who kept me company along the way by taking part.
“Even the communities coming out to support us has been fantastic. To every person who has handed me a cup of tea, a sandwich and even an ice cream, thank you.
“It’s been very tough but very humbling to see how people will help me for such a great cause.”
This year the Super You team have visited numerous schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland, delivering talks to over 5,000 students promoting positive mental health and well-being.
With the suicide rate in Ireland being extremely high among young people, this challenge and organisation is extremely important and that’s one of the main reasons for Declan taking on this gruelling and heroic challenge.
Declan continued: “It has definitely been a tough month and my body began to shut down towards the end of last week.
“The muscles were aching and the mind was struggling but I just took it one step at a time and with the support of my family and others including Peter Tomany who is a brilliant coach and friend I managed to get over the finish line and achieve my goal.”
On completion Declan said he will take a well deserved break and maybe consider the next challenge in a few months’ time!